Should You Wipe A Cat’s Bum?

Cats are known for valuing their cleanliness and grooming. So, it's a little alarming to see them walk around with feces stuck on their behinds. It often leads owners to wonder whether they should help them wipe it off. After some research, we found a concise answer to this common cat owner question.

Most cats will have no issues handling all their wiping and cleaning needs. But if a cat's bum does appear to need wiping, an owner shouldn't hesitate to do it. You can use one of the following methods to help alleviate the situation: 

  1. Special cat wipes
  2. Wet cloths
  3. Paper towels
  4. Clipping the fur 
  5. A full cat bath

Of course, listing these methods doesn't tell you the entire story. The following section will dive deeper into each to ensure you can help your cat. We'll also look into what could be causing this situation and whether it's a cause to worry. 

A cute little cat trying to reach a pot, Should You Wipe A Cat's Bum?

How Can I Help My Cat Clean Up?

Cleaning cats with feces stuck onto their bums is often an owner's worst nightmare. It's hard to blame them for feeling this way since it's pretty disgusting. However, our five methods will help ensure this cleaning process gets done as quickly as possible.

A Chartreux cat looking at something while walking to the door

1. Special Cat Wipes

Your first option would be using special cat wipes. These products are designed specifically to wipe away feces and other substances off your cat's fur. In most cases, these wipes offer a much more comfortable feeling than a wet cloth or paper towel. 

We do recommend avoiding any options with added scents. It might seem like a good idea, but cats often don't vibe with unfamiliar smells. Owners would be much better off using unscented special cat wipes. 

Let the area air dry once the cat's bottom is wiped. It'll only scare your cat if you try drying them off using a towel. 

Click here to see these pet wipes on Amazon.

2. Wet Cloth 

If you don't want to spend money on cat wipes, a warm wet cloth is a solid alternative. It'll have no trouble getting the substances off your cat's bum. But it's essential to wash it thoroughly after use or put it right into your washing machine. 

As with cat wipes, you will want to let your cat air dry. It's a simple way of getting your cat clean without making their lives miserable. 

3. Paper Towels

Some cat owners find themselves preferring to use damp paper towels. These products will wipe down the area without much issue, but they offer a rougher feel. Your cat isn't going to enjoy the paper towel much.

If you decide to use a paper towel, we'd suggest getting the help of a friend or family member. It'll help prevent any scratching or other issues from occurring. Plus, it'll quicken the entire process to dissipate everyone's discomfort. 

You'll also want to use a high-quality paper towel. Subpar options will leave little pieces on your cat's bum, which isn't ideal. 

4. Clipping The Fur 

Clipping the fur around your cat's bottom is a worthwhile alternative to wiping. For instance, feces can become matted and difficult to remove with a wipe or paper towel. So, clipping it out using pet scissors becomes a necessary move. 

Cat groomers perform this procedure regularly. It's a standard precautionary measure to prevent these issues, especially for long-haired cats.

Click here to see these pet grooming scissors on Amazon.

5. A Full Cat Bath

If the cat's bottom is massively messy and hardened, your only option is a cat bath. You'll want to soak their rear end in the water before trying to remove all the mess. But please, make sure to use cat-designed shampoo and put on some rubber gloves. 

Honestly, cat owners should put on as much protective gear as possible. Your cat isn't going to be happy with the bathing experience. It'll often lead to them scratching and biting their way out of your arms.

Why Is My Cat Not Cleaning His Bum?

A cute tabby cat sitting on the sofa while cleaning,

Once your cat is cleaned up, it's time to examine what happened. There are several potential causes for a cat to stop grooming themselves. It's essential to identify the issue for your cat so that you can avoid it in the future. 

Physically Incapable

One of the more common reasons is a cat being physically incapable. After all, it takes a certain level of flexibility for cats to reach their rear-end area. So, an older feline suffering from arthritis might find it too painful. 

Arthritis isn't the only medical condition that might make cats physically incapable of cleaning. Obesity can make it much more difficult for cats to maneuver their bodies to clean their bottom areas.

Long Fur

Long-haired cats are more susceptible to getting feces stuck on their backsides. It comes from getting knots or mats within their fur, which makes grooming painful. So, a cat may avoid grooming these areas to prevent a painful experience.

It's another reason many professional groomers recommend clipping the bottom area's fur. This action is a wise preventative measure to avoid these messy, gross situations.


A cute Calico cat walking on the house hallway

If your cat's bottom gets dirty immediately, diarrhea could be the issue. Diarrhea can cause feces to get trapped in the fur regularly. So, your cat may be running out of patience and energy to clean the area effectively. 

But diarrhea isn't always a cause of concern for owners. Upset stomachs can happen for various reasons, such as eating something irregular or the flu. Therefore, a pet owner's best course of action is to clean up their cat and monitor them.

If your cat returns to acting normal, this bout of diarrhea was a one-time event. But the situation becomes a little more worrisome when it continues for 24 hours or more. In this case, set up an appointment with your vet. 

Anal Gland Issues

Anal gland issues will result in grooming and cleaning problems. For instance, a bacterial infection or abscess can cause these glands to swell. It creates a blockage and makes it difficult for cats to do their bathroom business. 

The waste will then become trapped in their bottom area's fur. Your cat will respond by being overly reluctant to groom or clean the area. It's easy to understand why, as the infection or abscess is causing them severe pain. 

This situation will continue until the anal glands are expressed. Therefore, owners will want to deal with swollen anal glands as quickly as possible. You can express the glands at home or contact a vet to do it. 

Cognitive Decline 

Older cats can often start suffering from cognitive decline. It becomes more common as cats reach their twilight years (15 years or older). But it doesn't only affect cats in those upper echelon years, as it's an issue for cats around 10 or 11 years old.

A common side effect is a lack of grooming. So, your cats will stop taking care of their fur, especially the harder-to-reach areas like their bottoms. 

Sadly, cognitive decline isn't curable in cats. Owners will have to make adjustments and clean their cat's bum regularly. If your cat seems to have these issues, consult with a vet to discuss the next steps for management. 

How To Prevent Your Cat From Getting a Dirty Butt 

A ginger cat standing on the road

Cat owners aren't left with many options to prevent this issue. But you can dothings to help encourage an unwilling cat into grooming themselves. For instance, you use positive reinforcement by offering them a treat when they put some energy into it.

Some cats will respond by showing more attention to the bottom area during grooming. As a result, their bums will remain free of gross feces-filled, matted fur. You're tricking them into doing good behavior by simply providing them with a treat. 

Another preventative measure is staying up-to-date with litter box cleaning and maintenance. A cat's much less likely to pick up feces in their fur within a clean litter box. Clean the entire enclosure daily for the best results possible. 

In Closing

A cute little cat trying to reach a pot

If a cat's bum needs wiping, its owner shouldn't hesitate to help them. Take a cat wipe, wet cloth, or paper towel and relieve them of this nuisance. You should then figure out what could be causing the issue by monitoring their behavior. 

Don't forget to share your experiences in our comment section. We'd love to help you through this gross experience as much as possible. Thanks for reading!

If you have time, check out these helpful articles:

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